County Begins Construction Of New Covered Arena As Part Of $2M Fairgrounds Improvements

By Tamas Mondovics

The annual Hillsborough County Fair has been bringing five days of fun-filled tail-swishing and wing-flapping fun to area resident for close to two decades, and there is little doubt that last year’s 19th annual event clearly proved the same to be true.

“The Hillsborough County Fair is a community showcase,” said Fair manager, Tom Umiker, just days prior to last year’s festivities, adding, “We are a homegrown family-affordable event.”

To make sure fairgoers will continue to enjoy the much-successful, family-friendly event, last year Hillsborough County government began improvements to the fairgrounds, located at 215 Sydney Washer Rd. in Dover.

According to county officials, construction of a new covered arena is now underway, leading a list of additional improvements at a cost of $2 million.

As the work continues, passers-by will soon begin to see the construction of the new 20,000 sq. ft. covered arena that fair officials plan to use for exhibits and events.

In addition to the covered arena, scheduled to be completed prior to the next event, visitors to the fairgrounds will enjoy a number of already completed improvements that includes a paved drive from Sydney Washer Rd. to the fairgrounds parking area, eight disabled-access parking spaces, grandstands improved for disabled access and safety as well as an additional water tank and hydrants for fire safety.

Already completed is improved lighting to increase visibility.

Public restrooms at the new covered arena will replace those currently on site, while the construction will also replace several modular storage buildings and office structures with 30 ft. by 30 ft. concrete masonry buildings, county officials said.

Promising minimal impact to the public during construction, Hillsborough County has coordinated the site activities as the entire project, including the office and storage structures, which are expected to be completed by the end of 2013.

The entire project, funded through the County’s Capital Improvement Program, was designed by Fleischman & Garcia Architects, and will be completed at a cost of $2,000,000.

For project questions or additional information,  residents may visit http://bit.ly/FAIRimp or call 635-5400.